IELTS. It stands for the International English Language Testing System, and it makes thousands of international students all over the world nervous each and every year. What is it exactly, and how can you make the best IELTS preparation?
IELTS is a testing system used by English speaking countries all over the world to measure the level of English an international visitor can communicate in. It’s measured on a scale of 1 to 9 which are called ‘band scores’. Each band scores shows you what level you’re at. If you have a band score of 1, you are described as a non-user, and if you have a band score of 9, you are described as an expert.
These band scores are important because having a higher band score opens up more opportunities for work and education. 7 or above means that you can be accepted at most Australian universities, and most businesses require overseas employees to prove their English level with an IELTS score.
But what are the best ways to prepare for IELTS...?
IELTS Preparation Tips
Tip 1: Study the format of the test.
It is important that you know what will be expected of you before you take the test. In the IELTS academic test’s writing section, you are expected to be able to describe or explain a table, graph, chart or diagram, while in the IELTS General Training Test you are expected to write a letter. These are two completely different tasks that need different skills to complete. Knowing what to expect will allow you to focus on improving in that specific area when you are making IELTS preparation.
Tip 2: Complete practice tests.
Practice makes perfect is a saying that never rings false. Doing a simple google search for “free IELTS practice tests” will lead you to plenty of resources from trustworthy sources offering tests using the same format as the one you’ll take on the day of your exam. This is one of the best methods to take when making IELTS preparation as it allows you to become familiar with the test format, experience tasks which are similar to the test tasks, get used to timed conditions, and review your answers by comparing it to model responses.
One good place to go for IELTS preparation materials is ielts.com.au who offer a wide range of practice tests to complete.
Here is where you can find them.
Tip 3: Improving through using
There is no point doing well on this test if it doesn’t translate to your real life. The IELTS test measures your ability to listen, read, write, and speak English, so to improve your IELTS score, you need to improve all 4 areas of English. Watch TV, listen to music or eavesdrop into other people’s conversation to better your listening. Borrow a book from the library, or read an article online to practice reading skills. Get into the habit of keeping a diary, or take up creative writing to improve your writing, and make new friends to boost your speaking. Don’t get good at tests, get good at English!
Tip 4: Take an IELTS Preparation Course
This one is for those who take their IELTS preparation dead seriously. This tip takes the last 3 tips and wraps it into one plus more. One Perth based school that offers a high quality intensive course is Language Links College. While studying the course, you will be able to experience real exam settings that set you up for the environment in the IELTS exam and familiarises you with the format of the test, a highly qualified teacher with years of experience in teaching and preparing students who will guide you through your journey, new friends from across the globe to practice English with, a warm positive environment and free out of class events that are designed specifically for your success.